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YPU
2007-03-30, 02:59 PM
I was thinking about how fighter types in general, d20 and otherwise increase. And it truck me I can think of rather little. So, a magic type gets more and more powerful spells, the tech guy gets to build more and better. But what can the fighter do? Only hit harder and hit better? Help me out here! Anything can be used, this inst only d20 heck this isnít even fantasy per se, since this came up while trying to write up something for a sci-fi story. Think of movieís, storyís anything would help. p.s. I do have tome of battle.

lumberofdabeast
2007-03-31, 11:09 AM
Don't use the Fighter.

Trust me on this one. Warblade > Fighter, and Swordsage > Monk. Crusader vs. Paladin is arguable, but I favor Crusader because I hate alignment restrictions.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-03-31, 11:53 AM
Tome of Battle really is the place to start (though I really must say, a Crusader can blow a Paladin out of the water pretty handily after just a handful of levels). The problem is that there just isn't many ways in an RPG to have a "skilled fighter" without making an obscenely large rules pamphlet just on those vital tactics and cunning.

Unlike in written fantasy, a d20 or RPG fighter can't, say, deflect a magic spell, fight through illusions simpy because of his incredible force of will, or keep a battle moving too quick to allow the caster to think. That last one is especially impossible in d20, since a wizard can sit at the table for a good five minutes devising the best possible use of his powers instead of getting his head chopped off by the heroic fighter while he stutters for that same time.

So really, the only thing you can do is let the fighter do implausible techniques like in ToB. Or weaken magic to the point that no one ever has any reason to ever play a caster again.

Tengu
2007-03-31, 12:40 PM
There are many non-d20 systems where fighter-types are not overshadowed by casters, and they learn many different things as the time progresses - Earthdawn or Fadins Suns spring to mind, or (must resist the temptation! Ugh, I failed!) my homebrew system.
But in DND - yeah, you're probably best off with the Tome of Battle.

YPU
2007-03-31, 01:13 PM
Hm, you indeed illustrate my problem. Tome of battle is good. But I don’t want to directly go into those ‘special moves’ so what do those other systems do to get things balanced?

Assassinfox
2007-03-31, 01:18 PM
Masque of the Red Death setting requires spellcasters to make a spellcraft check every time they cast a spell, and requires a second check to avoid getting cursed. Definitely makes mages think twice about flinging spells willy-nilly.

headwarpage
2007-03-31, 01:23 PM
Or weaken magic to the point that no one ever has any reason to ever play a caster again.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

In all seriousness, I feel like it's more a matter of spellcasters being too powerful than fighter-types being too weak. A level 20 fighter, while much weaker than a level 20 wizard, is an excellent combatant. He's mastered whatever fighting style he's chosen and, depending on feat selection, may have a variety of useful combat tricks beyond simply dealing damage. Making that fighter any better is going to require adding unrealistic ToB-type abilities. Maybe that's fine, but it does change the feel of the class.

Meanwhile, the level 20 wizard can pretty much reshape reality as he sees fit, and in the same amount of time it takes the fighter to cross the room and hit something with his sword. And yes, that's sort of the point of the wizard, but it overshadows what the fighter can do. Since the fighter is pretty much as effective as a warrior-type can get, my solution is to take the wizard down a few pegs. I've seen a lot of excellent wizard-nerfing suggestions on these boards. I've also seen some fighter "fixes". Personally, I prefer nerfing the wizard, although I'm not sure about the best way to do it.

Tengu
2007-03-31, 01:38 PM
Hm, you indeed illustrate my problem. Tome of battle is good. But I donít want to directly go into those Ďspecial movesí so what do those other systems do to get things balanced?
Both Earthdawn (a system where all player characters are adepts, which in the game world means that they use magic to some extent) and my RPG (based on Final Fantasy) have those special moves. Fading Suns however have a manoeuvre system that bases more or less on realistic swordplay - you can buy manoeuvres that let you use effective footplay or fight with two weapons (realistically! The second weapon's use is for parrying, not attacking), but not strike with super-fast speed or make your weapon burst with flame or electricity - that's what psionics, theurgy and high-tech are for.
Fading Suns are a level-less game however, so what works there probably won't work well in a level-based game like DND.

Kultrum
2007-03-31, 02:12 PM
Warriors, or more to the point fighters, in my opinion make the best flavor chars. I mean they get enough feats that you can spec them for any kind of combat you want. Also every fighter is different, they can be archers, sword guys, defenders, mage killers, bounty hunters, anything melee you can think up.

Morty
2007-03-31, 02:32 PM
Using Warblade instead of Fighter does not solve anything. ToB classes, as good as they are, can't represent common melee fighters. Meleers need to be more flexible and have more unique, scaling abilities, but giving them "blade magic" isn't the way. Well, unless you cease to use obviously supernatural manuevers.

Kel_Arath
2007-03-31, 03:04 PM
alright heres the low down (im doing D&D fighters, not d20;s in general). fighters are amazing, simply said, feats out the wang. weap foc, weap spec, greater weap foc and spec, power attack, tactical feats, weapon style feats, exotic weap feats, throw anything, improved bull rush/grapple/cleave/sunder and when thats all done you can go into other weaps, or take iron will/ lightning reflexes/ great fortitude. improved toughness is good. so as you see, fighters become beastly (i didnt even get into all the stuff you can do with magic items)

headwarpage
2007-03-31, 03:08 PM
alright heres the low down (im doing D&D fighters, not d20;s in general). fighters are amazing, simply said, feats out the wang. weap foc, weap spec, greater weap foc and spec, power attack, tactical feats, weapon style feats, exotic weap feats, throw anything, improved bull rush/grapple/cleave/sunder and when thats all done you can go into other weaps, or take iron will/ lightning reflexes/ great fortitude. improved toughness is good. so as you see, fighters become beastly (i didnt even get into all the stuff you can do with magic items)

Absolutely. A high-level fighter is a very good warrior, and any more abilities would stretch the boundaries of realism. But he's nothing compared to a high-level wizard. Spellcasters are just too powerful at high levels. Warrior-types don't need more abilities, spellcasters just need a good thwacking with the nerf-stick.

YPU
2007-03-31, 03:22 PM
So, I will keep fighting types about the same, but how will I nerf magic’s. I am ok with rewriting a much more basic magic system for this. So a mage should be able to do in 1 round what a fighter could do in 3 rounds, but only do it once per 4 rounds on average. The fighter should be able to take 3 times as much damage then the mage? That really is just a sketch, what do you people suggest? Or perhaps much better. Leave magic out of damage, the fighter deals the damage the mage does something completely different?

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-31, 03:22 PM
alright heres the low down (im doing D&D fighters, not d20;s in general). fighters are amazing, simply said, feats out the wang. weap foc, weap spec, greater weap foc and spec, power attack, tactical feats, weapon style feats, exotic weap feats, throw anything, improved bull rush/grapple/cleave/sunder and when thats all done you can go into other weaps, or take iron will/ lightning reflexes/ great fortitude. improved toughness is good. so as you see, fighters become beastly (i didnt even get into all the stuff you can do with magic items)
Mm-hmm. Sure. Wow, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Grapple, those are really useful. Exotic Weapons, yeah, knowing how to use several different one sure helps. Sunder, break the loot you were gonna keep, great idea.
So, uh, what does your fighter do against a balor or a dragon, again? You know, typical high-level monsters, with Fly-By Attack and a 90 or 150' fly speed, teleport at will and a bunch of deadly SLAs (the Balor) or spellcasting and a deadlier full attack than you (the dragon)?
That's right.
Shoot a bow at them for very low quantities of damage, because you're a melee combatant.
An archer can at least have continuous damage output, bypassing the mobility problem. Melee Guys? Melee guys have to suck it up and live with rarely managing to actually deliver a full attack.


You say that like it's a bad thing.

In all seriousness, I feel like it's more a matter of spellcasters being too powerful than fighter-types being too weak. A level 20 fighter, while much weaker than a level 20 wizard, is an excellent combatant. He's mastered whatever fighting style he's chosen and, depending on feat selection, may have a variety of useful combat tricks beyond simply dealing damage. Making that fighter any better is going to require adding unrealistic ToB-type abilities. Maybe that's fine, but it does change the feel of the class.

Frankly... no. A level 20 fighter is NOT an excellent combatant. That's one of the problems with the fighter. By and large, he's got way too many vulnerabilities and way too little mobility. Being an archer can let him bypass the mobility issue, but not everyone wants to play an archer. Wizards can attack things with a standard action (letting them move first), from anywhere from, oh, 60 to 1000+ feet away. Fighters have to get there to make a full attack, and keep the enemy there.

I like to think that my Fighter fix (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30692) upgrades the fighter without making him all supernatural. Mobility is still a bit of an issue, but *that* one, there's no way to fix without supernatural stuff.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-31, 03:26 PM
So, I will keep fighting types about the same, but how will I nerf magic’s. I am ok with rewriting a much more basic magic system for this. So a mage should be able to do in 1 round what a fighter could do in 3 rounds, but only do it once per 4 rounds on average.
You're looking at it the wrong way. If you want to do it that way, the fighter and the mage should be able to do about the same thing every round. Making a character sit cooling his heels for three out of four rounds would be very poor design, incidentally.


The fighter should be able to take 3 times as much damage then the mage? That really is just a sketch, what do you people suggest? Or perhaps much better. Leave magic out of damage, the fighter deals the damage the mage does something completely different? That's the way things are: spellcasters who try to do damage have a very hard time keeping up with melee characters. Damage is the least effective use of spellcasting.
Highly-effective wizards are so highly effective *because* the fighter does damage while the wizard can do 999 other things, many of which are more effective than doing a lot of damage, or otherwise contribute more.

Consider a party where everyone's throwing damage at a Hill Giant vs. a party that hits the giant with Glitterdust and Slow. The latter one will take a couple more rounds to finish him off, maybe (no guarantee--the blinded, slowed giant has a lower AC and can't really move around), but they're going to take vastly less damage in doing so--about a quarter as much. And if the wizard were doing damage, he'd be casting a spell every round; as is, he only needs to use two.


As for changing the system, I really don't recommend meddling with it until you understand it a lot better/more intimately. What I *will* recommend is taking a look at, say, Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved, which is a variant rulebook for D&D. Spellcasting is slightly different, and the power level is lower in general, but it's far, FAR better balanced than core D&D.
Then consider reading the Optimization Boards (http://boards1.wizards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=339) on the WotC website. That should help you get a better sense of how the power balance currently is, which is vital to messing around with it.

headwarpage
2007-03-31, 03:37 PM
Yeah, there are things about the fighter that aren't great, but I think it's more a matter of the system not favoring warrior-types than the fighter actually sucking. How does the fighter compare to the barbarian or paladin? That's a pretty good fighter fix, though, if you're accepting that full spellcasters are going to be the baseline for character utility. Personally, I'd rather drag spellcasters down to the fighter's level than try to buff up the fighter, but I find that I like a lower-powered game.

Edit: I may need to take a look at Arcana Evolved, from what you say.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-31, 03:54 PM
Full spellcasters aren't the baseline for that fighter fix. Better-balanced melee classes, like the Tome of Battle classes and the Psychic Warrior (or other psi-gish), are.

The core Barbarian is significantly superior to the fighter. Same for the Paladin. Both are, nevertheless, weak.

Here's some "well-balanced" classes:
-The Psychic Warrior. At high levels, his powers give him the defenses and mobility the fighter lacks (Freedom of Movement, Personal Mind Blank, Dimension Slide/Psi D-Door, Hustle), as well as miscellaneous other things (Form of Doof, Defensive Precognition, Offensive Precognition).
-The Dervish PrC. It offers the melee type good will saves to shore up one of his weaknesses and largely negates his mobility issues.
-The Rogue. Despite poor design (he gets... what at level 20?) at the high levels--I'm also not a big fan of Sneak Attack design-wise, since its utility fluctuates wildly depending on the game/enemies and it'll mean that sometimes he can't use it at all; characters should be able to contribute almost all of the time, but the rogue gets UMD, which lets him do so--the Rogue is the gold standard for trap/skillmonkeys. Only the Beguiler is as good or better.
-Less-potent spellcasters than the Big Three (when they aren't gimped, like the Warmage is). The Favored Soul, for example, or the Spirit Shaman.
-The Tome of Battle melee guys, as I mentioned.
-The Knight.

And, uh, some others I missed, I guess.

YPU
2007-04-01, 04:03 AM
Wow, bear you clearly have been doing a lot of thinking on this. But I wasn’t as much looking at dnd, heck perhaps not even d20. I was looking at a balance for a sci-fi game that is brewing in my head. I will probably make It a bit like M&M, I rather like point buy, tough it is rather open to min-maxing. But in a slightly futuristic setting, what would a fighter type be able to do when he gets stronger?

Bears With Lasers
2007-04-01, 04:31 AM
Oh, man. Making your own system? Kind of a bad idea. I'm not saying you're too dumb or anything; it's just that existing systems are developed by groups of people, edited and playtested by larger groups, et cetera. Balance should be a concern after you know what, exactly, you want to do with your system (and what you want your system to do).

Basically? Start by playing--or, at least, reading--lots of different games.
Take note of how the mechanics work (and how/where they don't), especially in regards to the overall mood and feel of the game. In some games, mechanics actively support the feel of the game--for example, Exalted's "Stunting" mechanic, which grants a few bonus dice for awesome description. Some games use mechanics to guide things a certain way--for example, Dogs in the Vinyard and argument escalation; the way you add dice for stepping a conflict up. In some games, D&D being the best-known, the mechanics are an active part of the appeal, adding a "game" aspect relatively separate from the "roleplaying" aspect; whether it's "yes, I rolled a 20!" or "I have +23 to my trip check, Karmic Strike, Combat Reflexes, and Improved Trip, so whenever someone hits me I can hit them back" or moving your mini into a flanking position, part of the fun of D&D lies in the wargame aspect.

Figure out what you want your system to do, how you want it to affect play. GURPS is a big, generic, rules-heavy system that's only there to determine who succeeds at which individual actions, for example. This won't necessarily affect the overall mood of play, but it will affect playstyle and details--for example, people are going to be trying to do things rather than doing things; there will be rolling for success, regular failure, and so on.
Compare this to the very rules-light Wushu (http://www.bayn.org/wushu/wushu-open.html), where you are free (and even encouraged) to describe what your character does, success of certain actions included; you can describe stabbing the bad guy, say, you don't roll to do it. Other players can veto your actions. The rolls are for general outcomes of entire scenes, rather than specific actions.
Both of these are settingless, genreless systems. You can run Wuxia Kung-Fu Wushu or High Fantasy Wushu; you can run Space Adventure GURPS or a political-intrigue based game. However, the two systems are going to play very, very differently.

In some games, the mechanics are tied into the setting without dominating it, basically a quiet part of it. Nobilis (http://www.cs.utah.edu/~cms/gaming/ry_synopsis.html) has a diceless resource-allocation mechanic; players have four stats--Aspect, Realm, Domain, and Spirit--that correspond to in-game things less dryly than "Strength", "Dexterity", and the like; when they wish to work miracles beyond what they can normally do, they expend some of their power (mechanically, Miracle Points). It's simple and takes up very little in-game time.

In some games, the mechanics are there to create and reinforce a flavor. Spirit of the Century is by all accounts a top-quality game with a pulp-adventure feel. I'm going to quote a review of the game here:

Aspects are short phrases that describe who the character is, what they believe in, who they know, their attitudes, and virtually anything else that paints a picture of them. Skills and stunts describe more what a character can do while aspects describe who the character is. There are extensive lists and suggestions for aspects throughout the book but players are encouraged to make up their own aspects for their characters.

Some sample aspects from the book include: Quick Witted, Sucker, First on the Scene and Silver Spoon. A few made up of the top of my head include: Tough as Nails, Wrong Side of the Tracks, Hot-headed, Old Man McCoy, and Nose for Trouble.

Aspects are also assigned to objects and the environment. A train car might have the aspects: Cramped Quarters or Noisy.

Aspects can be invoked by a character by spending a Fate Point. A character could spend a Fate Point to invoke the First on the Scene aspect to beat the press to the sight of a burglary in order to gather clues before word gets out. Aspects can also be invoked to receive a reroll or give a +2 bonus on a die roll. For example using your Nose for Trouble aspect to get a +2 bonus on your Investigation skill to pick up on an important clue that something bad is about to happen.

Aspects may also be tagged or compelled. Tagging is invoking someone else’s aspects, compelling is a GM activating one of your aspects. Tagging someone or something else’s aspect costs a Fate Point while being compelled generates a Fate Point for the character in question. The GM may decide to compel your Wrong Side of the Tracks aspect to produce a penalty when negotiating with a wealthy aristocrat. A player could tag the train car’s Cramped Quarters aspect to prevent an opponent from swinging a baseball bat in such an enclosed space.
Aspects really define characters and give the game an overall feel that more simple, direct statistics wouldn't.
Character creation also really creates a pulp feel. You pick a character archetype (i.e. "Scientist", "Plucky Reporter", "Gentleman Criminal", "Two-Fisted Pilot", "Explorer"), and create characters in phases. Spirit of the Century characters all have a number of things in common: they were born in 1901, and lived through (and took part in, somehow) World War I are the big ones. Phase one is a description of their childhood, phase two is about their involvement in the Great War and then Phase Three is a summary, like a back-cover blurb on a pulp novel, of one of their adventures. For parts four and five, people take the "novels" of two other characters, and add a couple of lines about their involvement as "guest stars" in the other person's novel. Here are some examples (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=308686). I don't know if I explained it very well, but the mechanics and character creation very much create a pulpy feel and tone to the game. You can read an SRD here: http://bzr.mausdompteur.de/fate3/fate3.html


Basically, you need to figure out what kind of mechanics you want: do you want them to be an attraction of the game in and of themselves? Do you want the game to be heavy or light on "crunch"? Do you want the mechanics to support a particular playstyle, overall feel, or genre? And then you need to figure out how your mechanics are going to do that.
It's a pretty tough job.


And then, you need to balance things--which, in most systems, means determining how often you want people to succeed/fail at what they're good at, what they're not good at, what they're exclusively focused on, what they've dabbled in, et cetera.

Morty
2007-04-01, 04:43 AM
Making your own system is hell of a work. I'm making one for about 3-4 years, and now it's just finally starting to have arms and legs. And I haven't made so much stuff yet.
I agree with BWL that the best way to start making your own system is to play/watch as many other systems as you can. My system in fact spawned from everything I don't like in D&D, WFRPG and one other system(operating only on d6s), so I can do it other way around.

Aquillion
2007-04-01, 04:47 AM
The problem is, people can't really help you in a vacuum. What are you comparing your fighter-types to? What are they going to be fighting? Does your setting have psionics, magic, high-tech lasers, computer-terminal hacking, explosive weapons and guns, what? You haven't even made it clear if you're talking about some kind of bizarre future swordfighter or a guy with a gun and rocket-launcher.

With that said, some of the things people here have suggested could be useful...

Fighter-types could use some ability to shake off mental effects. This is one of the big problems in D&D, and it could pose problems for game balance, too (what's the point of mental effects if fighters can just shake them off?) But giving some sort of limited ability to some fighters, at least, could work. Say it comes out of their discipline or their focused fury or whatever.

Perhaps a fighter-type could gain the ability to disorient casters and technical-weapon types by charging them, making them more likely to lose their concentration or mess up whatever complicated device they're working with.

Or, since you're in a high-tech setting, you could say that the fighter types are the fancy-device types. After all, well, that's how the future works. A more skilled fighter would be less likely to mess up when using fancy types of gas or force grenades, have more options with their weapons, get better with readied actions and covering fire, and so on.

YPU
2007-04-01, 04:55 AM
Actually I am thinking about using one of two systems. the fusion system (which isn’t that good) has been adopted quite nicely in the Victoriana game, and I really like that system. so, heck I don’t need a lot, just those nice things ‘whoo, hoo, I can now ….” Things the magic’s has but the fighter types lack. Note that the victor system lacks the feeling of going levels up, so that needs work. And the d20 used in the m&m system, powers would be lost and stuff, but heck this is only for a personal game. I could work with my players.

Morty
2007-04-01, 05:52 AM
I belive it's really better and easier to adjust mage's combat capabilities to what fighter can do, not fighter to mage. In my system I doesn't bother with making fighters able to attack mages, just make so that mages aren't good in combat.

Sardia
2007-04-01, 06:06 AM
Remove rope trick, magnificent mansion, and similar spells. Somewhere after that, fighters start to shine as the number of encounters per day increases past four.

Tengu
2007-04-01, 07:33 AM
On the topic of creating your own system: the difficulty and amount of work needed to do such bases heavily on what do you want your system to do, and on how much of its image do you already have in your head. My homebrew system is based on Final Fantasy and I wanted it to capture the feeling of the games, which I think it managed pretty well - the non-combat mechanics are practically nonexistant, and the way how spells, equipment, special attacks, limit breaks et cetera work gives the players a great amount of character customising, both at the crunch and fluff side.
It's not a system anyone would pay to buy a rulebook of, especially since it's not 100% completed yet, but it gets the job done.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-04-01, 09:50 AM
Actually, thinking about it, would it be that bad to let every non-caster class become a half-caster class? Not half-caster like the paladin and ranger- I mean truly, actually, half of a full caster class in spell atainment and progression. The paladin and ranger can just keep their other spells too, making them sort of like a 3/4 caster class.

Ultimately, the full casters are STILL more powerful just because they can cast more world-ending spells every round. But at least the late-game balance would work out better.

Aquillion
2007-04-01, 11:37 AM
Remove rope trick, magnificent mansion, and similar spells. Somewhere after that, fighters start to shine as the number of encounters per day increases past four.This is patently false, and is one of the most common myths about spellcaster balance. You're forgetting that fighter-types rely on hp, which they lose quickly in combat. They can rely on clerics for healing, but the game is balanced so that even a full-healing cleric will start to run out of healing abilities about the time the mages run out of spells--and, in reality, the cleric is going to be using most of their spells to support themselves, which is generally more effective than sitting back and healing the fighter anyway. In addition to this, a smart spellcaster can resolve many encounters with a single spell (fear or confusion work wonders), allowing them to last far longer than you'd think. A fighter doesn't have that option--when they fight meaningfully difficult fights, they take damage. They can rely on healing potions, but mages can rely on wands and scrolls, and by the time either are doing that exclusively to keep going, the party is hemorrhaging money, so they'll probably stop and rest before it becomes an issue if they have a chance.

Archer-types might be able to work if they're not taking damage, but that means one of two things--either someone else is taking damage for them, or someone's using magic to keep them safe. Either way, they'll start to suck when everyone else runs out of resources, too... and, really, if you're in an encounter simple enough for one archer to handle on their own, it's not as if a smart caster would've wasted any spells on it in any case.

Morty
2007-04-01, 12:15 PM
But you can't deny that Rope Trick and MMM shouldn't exist. Yeah, spellcaster doesn't run out of spells as often and easily as some people think, but they do run out of spells sometimes. And these two spells allow them to completely don't care about that.

Sardia
2007-04-01, 08:33 PM
This is patently false, and is one of the most common myths about spellcaster balance.

Well, how do encounters 5-8 of the day go, then, providing spells to flee don't exist?

StickMan
2007-04-01, 08:53 PM
Just do what CW sugests tell your casters they can only take one level of a caster class for ever level of a non caster class. Or some varent of that it Nerfs Casters so they can't quite pull of crazy magic but still gives them skill at other things.

Aquillion
2007-04-01, 09:34 PM
Yeah, spellcaster doesn't run out of spells as often and easily as some people think, but they do run out of spells sometimes.Naturally, even the most careful spellcaster will run out of spells eventually... but the thing is, like I said, the fighters are going to run out of HP around the same time the spellcasters run out of spells, if not sooner, and while you can rely exclusively on potions and wands for healing, nobody will actually want to do that for an extended period of time if they have a choice (and full casters can rely on related items, too, if it comes down to a situation where they have to do that).

Having more encounters makes the game generally harder, but it's not something exclusive to casters, and it won't make the fighter-types any better. The only classes who are really helped by it are warlocks and (sometimes) archers.

Sardia
2007-04-01, 09:47 PM
Having more encounters makes the game generally harder, but it's not something exclusive to casters, and it won't make the fighter-types any better. The only classes who are really helped by it are warlocks and (sometimes) archers.

If so, it should still start to change the dynamic of play if casters know that they're in for five or eight or ten encounters a day versus a most likely four with the opportunity to withdraw.

Aquillion
2007-04-02, 12:23 AM
Yes, changing the number of encounters will influence the magic balance, but in which direction?

With more encounters, your melee fighters have to conserve their hp a lot more carefully than they would otherwise--they can't rely on clerics constantly patching them up. In fact, depending on how the encounters are arranged, the clerics might simply start healing melee fighters a lot less--after all, a self-buff that can win you multiple fights is worth a lot more than wasting multiple spells healing your underpowered fighter. Likewise, although arcane casters won't be able to cast as many spells per fight, the ones they have will matter a lot more, since the party can't afford to be hit nearly so much.

And, really, "can't withdraw?" How are you going to enforce that? You'll have to remove every teleportation and magical-safe-area in the books, of course, but that's only the beginning. A simple Wall of Stone or Stone Shape can easily produce a safe place to rest; an Illusory Wall can do the same thing in many areas. A Phase Door in a suitably thick wall actually provides a near-completely safe place to rest, too, and because of the absurdly loose wording on the spell, you can rest for as long as you want as long as you don't leave.

...the Phase Door issue is easy enough to house rule away (say they can only spend a certain amount of time in there or that otherworldly nausea precludes rest or whatever), but what are you going to do about Wall of Stone and Stone Shape? The very nature of those spells allows them to create almost completely safe refuges in most situations.

Basically, D&D is designed for the players to win. When the players want to be able to rest, the typical D&D campaign allows them to rest; there are very few situations, typically, where the players can't just backtrack and rest up before continuing. Since magic is so important, the players will backtrack to rest once the magic gets low unless the DM goes out of their way to prevent them. And, while the occasional hurry-hurry-hurry-no-time-to-rest adventure can be fun, doing it constantly is a much more drastic change to the game than I think you realize. That means, essentially, that you're not giving the players much control over what they're doing, are you? In order to force 8 high-challenge encounters between rests--more than players are designed to survive, and far beyond the point where they'd normally backtrack and rest--the DM will either have to put long-term major time constraints on the players (the 'you have a bomb in your brain that explodes if you go slower than eight encounters a day' approach) or basically invoke DM Fiat constantly, saying "You haven't had enough encounters today. You get into a fight now, no matter what you do." And they'll have to say it four times, typically, given that the 'normal' adventure group will start looking for a place to rest after about four encounters. Maybe that's fun for some people, but it's not how I'd want to play.

All of this assumes that the party survives. If you're really sending out challenges of approprate CR, and your party isn't overpowered (which, admittedly, most are to an extent), four encounters are supposed to mostly exhaust the players' resources. If you constantly press above that, people are going to start dying.

Sardia
2007-04-02, 12:32 AM
And, really, "can't withdraw?" How are you going to enforce that? You'll have to remove every teleportation and magical-safe-area in the books, of course, but that's only the beginning. A simple Wall of Stone or Stone Shape can easily produce a safe place to rest; an Illusory Wall can do the same thing in many areas. A Phase Door in a suitably thick wall actually provides a near-completely safe place to rest, too, and because of the absurdly loose wording on the spell, you can rest for as long as you want as long as you don't leave.

All of this assumes that the party survives. If you're really sending out challenges of approprate CR, and your party isn't overpowered (which, admittedly, most are to an extent), four encounters are supposed to mostly exhaust the players' resources. If you constantly press above that, people are going to start dying.

The first seems to assume a dungeon environment. Put 'em out on the plains, or in scrubland, and there's no easy corridors to wall off. I always did wonder (name of the game notwithstanding) why so many adventures took place in extensive underground labyrinths.
Even then, picture the party in a Stone-walled tunnel, trying to rest as the pickaxes begin to work their way through from the outside...

Appropriate CR for larger number of encounters might be a bit off, too-- slightly lower CR might hit the tone right given the number of encounters.

Matthew
2007-04-03, 04:26 PM
Remember, the whole imbalance aspect of D&D occurs mainly at around Level Six or so. Prior to that, things are relatively okay. When looking at ways to 'keep the game balanced' you have to look at what happens at around this point to increase the gap between Casters and Non Casters.
Mainly it comes down to Spell Slots and Spell Levels, but one fun possibility is to make Iterative Attacks equal to normal AB, i.e. a Level 20 Fighter has BAB 20/20/20/20. You can follow this up by making Full Attacks a Standard Action. The gap between Saving Throws is also ridiculous, that should be made 1:1 in all cases [i.e. Level = Save]. Have Heavy Armour follow the Encumbrance Rules so that High Strength Fighters aren't slowed down by it. Just a few thoughts.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-04-03, 05:53 PM
That's why I whole-heartedly support ToB. Martial Adepts keep melee'rs relevant almost up to level 15 without the power gap becoming too noticeable. If we could just find some way to further amp them up some, the balance could really be perfect.

Actually, I'm thinking of developing an epic maneuver/stances system akin to epic spellcasting. Some way to let epic non-casters stick it to them from time to time. The problem I'm running into is seeding. It seems a lot harder to come up with this stuff.